Manifesto Novices’ Chase – Glen Forsa
I know that Warren skipped Cheltenham with his race in mind for Le Bague Au Roi but I think she is better over a shorter trip and worth taking on at the current prices. Historically, Cheltenham takes a lot out of horses but I quite like the chances of Glen Forsa who only got as far as the fourth fence, where he parted company with Johnny Burke and granted a clear round fo jumping, he’s my idea of the winner.
Doom Bar 4-Y-O Hurdle – Fakir D’oudaires
This looks like a three horse race to me with the Joseph O’Brien trained pair Band Of Outlaws who won the Fred Winter and Fakir D’oudaires who ran on well to finish a staying on fourth in the Supreme along with the Triumph Hurdle winner Pentland Hills the ones to beat.
Of the three I’ll side with Fakir D’oudaires who had a slightly troubled preparation for the Supreme but still ran very well to finish fourth having looked in trouble coming down the hill. The experience he would have gotten from racing against a better quality of horse will stand to him and looks the answer.
Aintree Bowl – Clan Des Obeaux
I found it hard to decide between Kemboy and Clan Des Obeaux in this with both having run in the Gold but Kemboy only made it to the first fence. Willie Mullins’ inmate was on a real winning streak prior to that early exit but I’m just not sure if his form is strong enough to win this.
Clan Des Obeaux was one of the leading fancies for the Gold Cup but was outpaced late one. I think this flatter track will suit him and if he can reproduce his King George victory then he should be winning this.
Aintree Hurdle – Buveur D’air
I’ll keep this short and sweet, I really fancied Buveur D’air to land a hat-trick of Champion Hurdles but obviously, he didn’t get the chance coming to grief. I haven’t changed my mind, I think he’s the best two-mile hurdler in training and will win.
Foxhunters’ Chase – Ucello Conti
Obviously, I used to train Kruzhlinin who I always thought would make up into a Grand National horse. I don’t think he’s ever quite reached his full potential but he has course form and could sneak into the places.
Jamie Codd is one of the best rides in the business but I think both he and Derek gave their horses plenty to do in the Foxhunters’ at Cheltenham. Ucello Conti has got proven course form although he’s yet to win over the National fences. He looks to be one of the class horses in the field and must go close.
Red Rum Handicap Chase – Diego Du Charmil
The race is named after my father’s great horse Red Rum who carried top weight to win a National so I’ll plump for the top-weight in this. Diego Du Charmil was a Grade 1 winner over hurdles at Aintree last year. Paul Nicholls’ has campaigned him exclusively over fences this year and he’s been beaten by altior on two of his three starts this season.
He’s without a doubt the class horse in the race and having skipped Cheltenham he’ll come here a fresh horse and will prove tough to beat.
Goffs UK Mares’ NH Flat Race – The Glancing Queen
It goes against what I’ve been saying about Cheltenham taking it out of horses but I loved The Glancing Queen when I saw her at the sale but wasn’t able to but her and I’ve loved her each day she’s ran too.
She ran an absolute cracker in the Champion Bumper, a race I think will work out very well in time and obviously the time in between races in slightly concerning. However, she is an above average filly and I’d love to have her.